ADMIN MESSAGE APRIL 2015
“You see a child play, and it is so close to seeing an artist paint, for in play a child says things without uttering a word. You can see how he solves his problems. You can also see what's wrong. Young children, especially, have enormous creativity, and whatever's in them rises to the surface in free play.” Erik Erikson
In 1950, developmental psychologist Erik Erikson proposed a theory of the life cycle and identified eight stages of development from infancy through maturity that he argued was impacted greatly by social experiences; from striking a balance between trust and doubt during infancy as a means to forge ahead - with hope, to reflecting back in old age on a life lived - with wisdom.
As a community of learners we find ourselves throughout Erikson’s developmental stages in the pocket between infancy and old age. I definitely see, as Erikson would suggest, that our young students are developing a sense of pride and accomplishment in their work and abilities as they explore different behaviors, roles and identities. Erikson would agree that through these developmental years, our students have the potential to become more independent as they figure out who they are and what they are able to do. He would not be surprised that our caring staff members are busy balancing career and family as they act on their need to give back to society with pride as productive contributors to their home, community and world. Erikson maintained that these stages are progressive and occur in a predetermined order, each building on the previous developmental stage. Being new to HGI, I’m observing a learning community blurring the lines of Erikson’s theory. I have observed young people wise beyond their years and wanting to make a difference in several capacities, as well as our most experienced educators looking to what these young people are able to do and contribute as a means to inform how to forge ahead with hope.
On February 4th during Global School Play Day I observed not only our students engaged by the opportunity to affirm their right and need to play, but also saw our educators inspired by the reminder that this is how they became the creative and innovative leaders they are today. According to Psychology Today, children are designed to spend huge amounts of time playing freely. It’s how they develop social, emotional, and physical skills, and how they become creators and innovators. I would argue that as educators we need to continue to play. We are in a time when creatvity and innovation are paramount and if we are truly dedicated to maximizing the growth and development of our students in this rapidly changing world, we ourselves will have to go back to the spirit of “play” as a means to experiment with designing new learning experiences that will move education forward. And as educators, we will also have to be open to the diverse opportunities that our young people are now able to provide for us so that we continue to grow and to develop to meet their needs. This can sometimes mean putting down the technology as we did on Global School Play Day and other times it can mean using technology to reach out to the world so that classrooms no longer have walls and so that students have multiple forms with which to share their thinking, as well as what they can do.
On January 28th, the walls came down when a small group of students designed and printed a replica model of HGI School using a 3D printer. This group of students known as the Student Technology Leaders have seen this innovation through from start to finish. They presented the idea of 3D printing to the school, researched the best products, and demonstrated the perseverance necessary to begin 3D printing in our brand new Maker Space within weeks of the printer arriving. They have recently presented the model to Principal Hobson in recognition of her having just been named one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals by The Learning Partnership, an award presented to a school leader who demonstrates innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and who has done something remarkable in public education.
Principal Hobson continues to discover her own potential by putting herself on the path alongside her staff and students, and respects that there is wisdom amongst us all. As the new Vice Principal, I see a school that is proud to create the conditions not only for our young students to discover who they are and what they can do, but for the entire learning community to be inspired by the work of one another as we all reflect with wisdom and forge ahead with hope.
Peggy Hobson & Mike Pizzi – HGI School
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